Astrid & Lilly Shows Us the Importance of Becoming Your Own Biggest Fan

Photo by: Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY

It’s not often that I feel like I see myself onscreen. And when I do, it’s always just a piece of me; never the whole of me. And for me personally, I never really see myself physically represented, especially the younger me . And let me tell you, I did not see it coming that of all networks, SYFY would be the one to hold up a mirror.

Representation — of all kinds — matters. 

Astrid & Lilly Save the World is a fun, silly, smart show about two girls, Astrid (Jana Morrison) and Lilly (Samantha Aucoin), who accidentally almost destroy the world and then have to close a portal to save it, all while maneuvering the hell that is high school. Both are fat, one is queer, and I – a fat, queer girl – am all in.

The writing is clever and hopeful, but it’s also believable that these kids would actually be talking this way. The production team is comprised of women and nonbinary folks, and quite frankly, it shows. The lack of toxic masculinity is refreshing and apparent (and the reveal of the Big Bad as a bland white guy feels very true to life right now), and it’s nice to watch a show that wasn’t created by men, for men. It feels like the writers mined the depths of my soul for some of these scenes and feelings, and it’s made me feel so seen, I would gladly open up a portal in my brain and let them dig for more.

Watching last week’s episode, “Doppelkopfel”, written by Alix Markman and directed by Jordan Canning, it really hit me how powerful this show is and could be for younger queer girls watching, especially if (like me) they are fat, or were in high school. Lilly is so familiar to me, even now. Dressing to fit in and blend in, except when she gets that burst of confidence and lets the outside match the inside. Feeling like crushing on that hot girl is pointless but doing it anyway, because you love who you love.

Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY

First of all, when I saw the title, it filled me with hope that it would be like my favorite Buffy episode, Doppelgangland, and I was not disappointed. The episode was a gay romp with body doubles! Shakespeare on the barbie! Mindless automatons! A great scene of Doppel!Lilly chasing Actual!Lilly through the halls of the high school! Just good stuff all around.

Genre shows have this great way of distracting you with severed tongues and haunted mannequins when you suddenly realize that the characters are the heroes you always wanted to be in your own story. There’s one line in particular that got me in this episode. It was when Lilly told Candace (Julia Doyle):

I’m not always my biggest fan, but even I know I deserve better than that.

Lilly

Because there comes a point where you draw the line, you know? That person you thought you loved more than anything, who you’d do anything for, has disappointed you/ghosted you/ignored you one too many times. And I know this feeling. I’ve known it my whole life. It’s what prompted me to break up with that girl who used to raise her fist to me, who (unbeknownst to me) didn’t bother breaking up with her girlfriend when we started dating. It‘s when I said bye to those friends who dumped me when I came out. It’s what I realize when I’ve finally had enough of a toxic friend who’s giving me nothing but misery or apathy. It’s how I feel when I think about the college roommate I fell for suddenly ghosted me and I find out after two years it’s because she had a baby and just…cut me out without explanation instead of sharing that part of her life with me.

Let me say it again. 

I’m not always my biggest fan, but even I know I deserve better than that.

Because the weight of a lifetime of being fat and secretly queer makes you feel like you don’t deserve nice things. The clothes that fit you make you look like a bank manager in 8th grade, but that’s all there is, so be happy we found something to fit you. The girl who finally likes you isn’t that nice to you and doesn’t prioritize you, but it’s a girl who likes you. This is what you’ve always wanted, so make it work. Settle, settle, settle, because what else do you think you’ll get?

But Lilly said no more.

SYFY

This episode was like every fat queer girl’s dream, honestly. The pretty girl that they’ve had a crush on forever actually likes them back? Lilly is living the dream so many of us didn’t get to when we were young. I mean, sure, she and Astrid have to battle monsters before and after, but I would’ve taken that exchange at 16…or 19, or even 25, because I would have battled monsters if it meant they cared about me the way I cared about them.

Astrid & Lilly has been described as “Buffy minus the male gaze,” and while I would agree, I would take it a step further. To that equation, I’d add a dash of Teenage Bounty Hunters, the essence of Wynonna Earp, the diabolical maternal figures of Supergirl, and the charm of Nancy Drew. If you haven’t seen Astrid & Lilly Save the World, I would just gently suggest that you give it a try, because I guarantee that if you show up for it, Astrid & Lilly will show up for you.

Astrid & Lilly Save the World Season 1 finale airs Wednesday, March 30 at 10/9c on SYFY and CTV Sci-Fi.